Summertime!

We have been very busy for the last few weeks. Both Ethan and I finished started our summer on May 27th! Sylvia is still working and so is Jack. We do still have to get up early two days a week for my niece and nephew who come over while their mom works! Ethan enjoys playing with his cousins and we have been on a few outings having fun. I have completed two of the three days for a workshop this week that has been very interesting. I have a two day workshop next week and then that is all done! I also found out that one other hospital is covering 95% of my bills, so now I am down to just 4 medical bills. I have two doctors that I need to pay, the ambulance and the hospital that didn’t treat me correctly. I am still in discussion with them, because I got my medical records and there are NO doctor’s notes for the first visit. I just have more time to do the research now!

Ethan has a few doctors he needs to see in the next few weeks. I have met my out of pocket limit so I am going to see the eye doctor and visit my gynecologist about menopause! My insurance year starts over on Sept. 1st so I have to get in what I can now. Even my prescriptions are $0.00. Having to go to the ER seven times which included two CT scans, lots of lab work, ultrasounds, a HIDA scan and many other things is not the way to get free medical care, but it is what it is! I know most people complain about their health insurance, and believe me there are things I don’t like about mine, but I am glad I had it for this situation.

Sylvia and I celebrated one year of marriage this month. We went out to eat and had a great time. We have actually been together since the Fall of 2010, so almost seven years. I am so glad we were able to marry!

The summer is already going by so fast. My mom is having surgery in a few weeks so I’ll be helping her with that. i plan on taking Ethan to see my sister and nephew, so that will be a fun few days. I have made myself just SIT and watch some movies….which isn’t easy. I like to stay busy.

I also want to say that I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER. I know that sounds weird, but I think I finally have my stamina back since having the surgery. I am walking at least 10,000 steps. This all started about a week after I finished school.

Well, this has been a rambling post, but there was lots to share.

Allergies!

There is something in the air and it is affecting all of us, except for Sylvia. The boys and I have been sneezing all week. My eyes are driving me even more crazy then the sneezing. Ethan has had a cough so he has been doing breathing treatments three times a week since Monday. I was finally able to get him into the doctor today and he is now on antibiotics and a steroid. I am feeling pretty good and don’t feel sick, thank goodness. Poor Ethan has asthma and so he has a harder time fighting off any infections. I am taking mucinex and allergy medication. Jack will sneeze and sneeze and then will say that he doesn’t need any allergy medication. Drives me nuts. Sylvia seems to be immune from most of the allergens in our area. She will sneeze some here and there, but allergy medication seems to help her more than the rest of us. I am ready for the HEAT to kick in and kill off everything! Jack and I both have a bit of poison ivy too from the yard work this past weekend. YIKES! He has it worse than me. Even with long sleeves, long pants and gloves, we both got hit with it! I think we will all survive. Two more weeks of school and SUMMER will be here!

50th Birthday!

I turned 50 yesterday and Sylvia gave me a wonderful party! The day started out with me waking up to her saying “Happy Birthday”. She gave me my birthday presents right then! She got me some things for my cell phone, lavender bubble bath and a ceramic antique kitten! I to love cats. We had planned my party together, but there were some things I had not been told. We had the party at a Mexican food restaurant. There were a total of 20 people who came which included Jack, Ethan, my mom and Jack’s girlfriend. The rest of the guests were friends and couples that we hang out with at the women’s dance or other events. It was so much fun. Sylvia had made party favors for the guests and tied to them was a round tag that said, “Thank you for coming to Maria’s 50th birthday party”. It was really neat. They were tied to a small jar that held candy! She also had a poster board that was titled “50 Things we like about Maria….” There was strong across the board and each person wrote something down that they liked about me! I read them to everyone after we ate. After dinner we ate some birthday cake and visited more. I made sure to go to each end of the table and see all of our friends. It was one of my best birthdays. The boys wrote nice things about me as did Jack’s girlfriend. My mother got to meet all of our friends and she enjoyed talking to each of them. Many of our friends write nice things about my mom on Facebook after the party. Our friends had heard many stories about Jack and Ethan, but had not met them. It was neat to see them get to meet them both and for the boys to meet our friends that we talk about. It was just a nice afternoon with friends and family! I am blessed to have Sylvia, Jack, Ethan, my mom and all of my friends!

It’s Been a Month

It is has been a month since my gall bladder surgery. It took three weeks to finally start feeling like my old self, so this past week has been a good one. I saw my surgeon two weeks ago and asked about the pain I have been having on my right side. He said that my brain is still trying to send signals to my gall bladder, that is no longer there. I was glad to hear that this was all that was going on and it wasn’t something more serious. I have not had any pain for a week now and that is one reason I am feeling so much better. My first week back at work was hard. I would come home and take a nap before I even ate dinner and THEN still go to bed early. Sylvia has been awesome. She waited on me and worried when I had even just a small pain. The medical bills are starting to come in, but I met my deductible back in November, so they are not TOO bad. I did file a complaint with one of the hospitals and am waiting to see what they have to say. I also sent a letter of dispute to the two doctors that treated me at that one hospital. I am curious to see what comes out of all of that and I will keep you posted.

I am on spring break this week, but Ethan is in school. He had spring break last week. I am taking him to three doctor’s appointments this week and Jack is having his wisdom teeth pulled. Sylvia and I are going to work on our taxes (I am sure that will end up being a blog post). I hope we survive doing our taxes! I am going to spend the day with my mom on one day. I may treat myself to a movie, but otherwise, I will just be home and going to appointments with the kids!

We are on the count down to summer!!!

Two Weeks Post Op

It has been two weeks since my gall bladder surgery and I still get tired by 7:00 most nights. I ended up being home an entire week from work. I was back in the ER the Thursday after surgery in pain again, but this time it was a urinary tract infection. I went back to work this past Monday and did pretty good, but had to lay down when I got home from work. This happened again on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I was feeling really good, but went to bed around 8:30 and crashed hard. I was in bed by 9:00 last night. I am watching what I eat and have found that I have to eat smaller portions. I am really ready to be back to 100% but I know it takes time. My stepmom told me that anesthesia can affect you for up to a month. Sylvia has taken very good care of me and put me to bed when I needed it. The boys have been pretty good, but they are typical young men….CLUELESS. I go see the surgeon this Tuesday for a check up and then we should be good from there. OH, I got my bloodwork results back from the gynecologist and it confirmed that I am in menopause. I am not sure if I will look at hormone therapy or not. Right now, my body doesn’t feel right for a lot of reasons!

More on my Father

My father finally reached out to my sister and apologized for how he acted. He called my number, and surprisingly the call came through even though I had blocked him (Jack and I are on the cloud with our phone numbers, so he had my dad saved as grandpa, so I think that is why it came through). I didn’t answer, but he left a message. He asked me to call him. I waited 24 hours and then texted him that I would call, but not right away. This has really been weighing on me the last few days. I have never truly felt that he has accepted me and Sylvia and our marriage.

I decided to text him instead of calling. I told him that I even before this thing with my sister, that I had not felt comfortable in his home. I told him that I could not be me when I was around him. I did bring in “the man” that is now our president elect and how he has spoken about handicap people (my son is handicapped) and how he has talked about women. I only brought him up to say BEFORE the election it was hard to be around him, but since the election I truly didn’t feel that I could be at his home where ALL of my family supported THIS MAN. I tried to make this about ME and HOW I feel. I also said that my wife didn’t like being at his home and that is why she rarely accompanied me to his house.

He responded after a while and said we should agree to disagree on the election results. He brought up HILLARY and that she supports abortion in the 9th month and that she support aborting handicapped babies. He said some other stuff and said that he has always accepted both Sylvia and I in his home. Long story short, I brought up some things he has said around us both and he denied saying them, basically calling Sylvia a liar. When I called him on it, not saying WHEN he said it, he replied with “that was 2 years ago, get over it”, so he does remember saying it. He also brought up the reason he called my sister and accused my mother of lying again.

I kept trying to address that I don’t feel accepted, and he just said he accepted me. However, what he says and what he does shows me otherwise. He then said he was DONE in a text. Now before you start to criticize about having this conversation through text, realize, that I have tried to have phone conversations on other issues with him in the past and they have not gone well. He wants me to just FORGET what has happened and what has been said and just act like nothing has happened. I have done that for several years, when he has ranted about how gays will NEVER be allowed to marry, when he has ranted about abortion, when he has wondered how my ex-husband can survive after paying child support, when he says he accepts me, but not the “lifestyle”. What the hell is the lesbian lifestyle. My two boys have done so much better with Sylvia being here.

This is a bit of a rambling post, but I have found my voice and I will not be quiet. I will not sit and be quiet when people support laws that limit my freedom, that limit my special needs son’s life….I will not be a victim anymore.

Christmas Baking

It is that time of year again and the baking has already begun!! Sylvia and I both like to bake our special treats for Christmas. She has students and co-workers that she gives these baked goods to and I have staff and friends I like to share with. I even make up around 30 gift bags to send with Ethan full of these Christmas treats. My all time favorite baked good is the Snowball cookies that I make each year. Some of Sylvia’s co-workers asked her if she would be bringing those white cookies (snowball cookies) and chocolate truffles again this year. It makes me happy to know people enjoy what I make. Sylvia found the truffle recipe two years ago and we made them again last year. We plan on making them again this year. Both boys enjoy coming in to help with the truffle making and they are so easy to make. Sylvia makes up the chocolate and then refrigerates it. She and I roll the truffles and the boys decorate them in the various sprinkles we purchased. We count the truffles as we go and on the 11th truffle one person gets to do a quality control test and taste the truffle. We then restart the counting and the next person gets to have a taste on the 11th truffle. We make about 100 truffles each time and enjoy sitting around and chatting!

Sylvia has a chocolate walnut recipe type of candy she makes, but we don’t have an official name for it. We call them the “walnut things”, but they are good. I also make homemade pralines! My great-grandmother taught my mother how to make pralines and I have been making them for the past four years. I don’t usually send those in the treat bags, because not everyone likes them. However, I do make them for friends and family as Christmas gifts. Two years ago someone asked if they could pay me to make the pralines for them and I did. She gave them as a gift and said her friend loved them. My niece and nephew come over every year and we make homemade sugar cookies with Ethan. If Jack is home, he will stop and help us decorate the cookies. We use store bought icing and then use food coloring to make different colors. I also have tubes of icing we can use to decorate the cookies as well as sprinkles. This year I have decorative eyeballs to use! The kids enjoy it and so do I! We make lots of good memories. I have been making these cookies since Jack was around two years old. Back then my little sister and brother would come over (they were 10 and 6) to make and decorate cookies!

I enjoy giving these items as presents! I think homemade gifts are sometimes the best, especially when you can eat them!

My Father

My father and I had managed to avoid discussing politics since Spring of last year. I know he is a Trump supporter and he knows he shouldn’t share politics with me. When same-sex marriage became legal I had to unfollow him on Facebook because of his rantings about the Supreme Court. I have forgiven him so many times through the years for what he said to me and for what he had done to our family when he divorced my mother. He never congratulated me on my wedding to Sylvia, and yet I tried to keep him in my life. He had called my younger sister to ask her opinion of my marriage, because again, he doesn’t support it. I cried everyday after Trump won, because I knew that I might “lose” my relationship with my father. My dad’s wife, my brother, my half brother and half sister, my dad’s sister (my aunt, of course) and several other members on that side of the family support Trump. I was already trying to make a plan in my head for Christmas. I would ask him to come to my house and see us, because I would not want to go and be up around everyone for fear when/if politics came up I would lose control of my mouth and there would be a horrible argument. Now I don’t even want to do that.

I posted my feelings about the election on Facebook. Nothing too bad. I was disappointed and I knew the holidays would be hard. Several friends responded and then my mom responded about me being a strong single mom until I met Sylvia and then something about how she could relate as a single mom and that she never got much child support. She later told me that she had responded to ONE person’s response and really thought no one else would see it, just the one person. Well someone saw it and told my dad. He then called my younger sister who doesn’t live close by and told her my mom had lied and he didn’t appreciate it. He then told her that he wasn’t calling me because he knew I was already upset with him. Well she gave him a lecture and a list of other things he had done. Of course, then I find out about it and I am not happy that he has upset my mother because she found out about it as well. I called him all upset to talk to him and he didn’t want to talk about it. I hung up on him and have blocked his phone number along with my step-mom’s number. Her sister tried to get involved and texted me and I told her to stay out of it.

On top of all of that, my brother called my mom to ask her to talk to me because HE voted for Trump and HE wanted me to know that Trump wasn’t going to try to change the law on same-sex marriage. My sister slipped and told me this. You know it is not just the law about same-sex marriage it is future laws that will allow business to discriminate against those in the LGBT community.

Needless to say, it has been a drama filled week. I am still not sure when or if I will speak to my dad again. He says he accepts me and Sylvia, but doesn’t approve of the lifestyle. He has also said that family shouldn’t have to apologize to family. I am trying to find peace in my heart so I can get through each day. How many times do I let my heart be broken by my father? I don’t know if I can take another heart break. It isn’t easy to know what to do.

Our First Trip to the ER

Sylvia took me to the Emergency Room yesterday morning. We are both experiencing symptoms of pre-menopause….skipping periods, sweats at night, and for me cramps. I haven’t had cramps since I was a teenager. The last few times I have had a period, I have had cramping, but this time it was to the extreme. It started a week before I even got my period, which was a week late. My period arrived, and the cramps got worse. I stayed home from work a week ago Friday and my family doctor gave me some pain meds. They worked, but the cramps were never really gone. Fast forward to this past Thursday and I was home again. The cramps were keeping me up at night and I couldn’t sleep. Even with the pain meds and a heating pad it was awful. I woke up around 4:00 am on Friday morning and could not go back to sleep. I was in tears the pain was so bad. I woke Sylvia up around 4:45 and asked her to take me into the ER. This was not an easy decision for me, but the pain was horrible.

We woke Jack up and he was put in charge of getting Ethan to school. He was concerned and he stepped up and did a good job while we were gone. We arrived at the hospital and we were taken back to a triage room as soon as we got there. There was only one other patient there besides us! The doctor said it was good I came in because it could be my pancreas or my gall bladder. They took blood and got all of my information. No one asked who Sylvia was, so I finally told the person taking down all of my information. No questions were asked about her being my wife and it was handled just like we were a heterosexual couple. We had always wondered if it would be, and it was.

My bloodwork came back and there was no infection. Everything looked good and the doctor said I was healthy. He said to follow up with my gynecologist. I had talked to them on Thursday and have an appointment for Monday. That was the soonest they could see me. The doctor did give Tylenol with codeine so I took that when we got home (Oh, I did get morphine while at the hospital). I slept pretty much all day yesterday. I took one more tylenol with codeine in the afternoon and then some ibuprofin later. I slept 10 hours and woke up feeling better today. However, I have still had minor cramps and needed some ibuprofin. The cramps have gotten a little worse this evening so I think I will be taking a tyleonol with codeine here in a bit.

Sylvia took very good care of me this whole time. She held my hand when they had to take blood out of the top of my hand….the veins in my arm always roll. She made me go to bed and she took care of Ethan when he came home from school. She even made sure he got to bed on time. Jack was home when we got home from the hospital and was happy to hear all was well. He went off to work and when he came home he helped Sylvia.

I hope to get some answers as to what is going on this coming Monday.

First Week Back at Work

I went back to work this past Monday. We had a two hour convocation with a great speaker that I really enjoyed! It was great seeing everyone that I had not seen since early June. I spent most of the rest of the on paperwork. My new role as the diagnostician means a great deal of paperwork. The other diagnosticians have been great and have helped me a great deal. There is still a lot to learn, but it is also a challenge that I welcome! Sylvia has been awesome and has cooked all week. I have come home to great meals and we have had enough for leftovers. It has NOT been fun getting up early, but it helps that Ethan doesn’t start school for another week. He just gets up, eats breakfast, and we discuss his day before I leave. Sylvia has been home most of the days for at least part of the day. Jack has also been home for parts of each day. Ethan doesn’t need much, just a lunch and his games. Thank goodness for “Parentkit”. It is a great app that lets me control how much time he can have on his iPhone and iPad. He doesn’t do well when he has had electronics for too many days.

One more week of inservice and then the real fun begins. I have several IEP meetings coming up and TWO of them I have to prepare and run. YIKES!